Bookkeeping: Cut 1/4th of Capital One Financial (COF)
Short on Delinquencies; Added some SPY Calls
Tuesday September 15, 2009 - 13:14 PM EDT
Source: Fund My Mutual Fund
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It is funny at this point, shorting anything - only when sincerely bad news comes out can anything go down
and even then it's for a few hours. Best Buy (BBY) is down today on disappointing spending by the consumer,
but should be up by tomorrow. Capital One Financial (COF) had a rise in delinquencies; but not to worry - it
was only down 4% and now that this bit of fundamental news is out of the way we can rally it back on ... well
certainly not valuation. I do see estimates for 2010 have been raised from about 0.00 to 0.70, as I wrote in this
week's summary for any remaining consumers who still carry debt in America the rates are jumping big time
as these companies position ahead of new regulations in 2010. Greater than 50x estimates out more than a
year is cheap in this market, so I am surprised the stock even bothered to falter for a few hours.
• Capital One Financial Corp. said Tuesday that delinquencies on its U.S. credit cards rose in August,
although defaults slowed, sending its shares tumbling nearly 5 percent.
• The McLean, Va., company in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said
its annual net charge-off rate, or the percentage of loans the company believes won't be repaid
compared to total loans, dropped to 9.32 percent in August from 9.83 percent in July. (that's an
• The rate for loans at least 30 days delinquent worsened, however, for the second straight month. The
delinquency rate rose to 5.09 percent last month from 4.83 percent in July. (this is more recent data
and doesn't fit into the "2nd degree improvement" story)
• In Capital One's auto-loan unit, the charge-off rate in August rose to 4.31 percent from 4.26 percent in
July. The delinquency rate climbed to 9.42 percent from 9.22 percent.
I dropped a quarter of my short exposure into this "correction", we are down 20% on the stake but it only a
2% position, now down to about 1.5%. At this point we have to question what seismic event it will take for
that gap under $24 to fill.
Specific to Capital One I think all this delinquency data is now moot since this firm can borrow from the Fed
at nearly nothing and push that money into buying US Treasuries for risk free gains, or letting consumers
borrow it at 23%+. Even if the default rate is 25% (more than double from here) they should make money on
a 20%+ spread on paying consumers. It's great to have the Federal Reserve making your business completely
idiot proof to run.
The larger question if indeed US consumers matter anymore, is how will spending get back to the good ole
days if easy credit is no longer available. Borrowing at 23-29% is very different than 0-12%. But these are not
questions anyone is asking and since the government now is taking the place of consumers as the spending
machine of the economy, I suppose US consumers behavior is a moot point. When in need, simply put your
hand out ... and the government will fill it so you can go consume. Or pay back Capital One's debts.
As for the greater market as I stated once over S&P 1050, there really seems to be no resistance until 1100 so
I have replaced those September SPY calls I got rid of late last week with 1 batch yesterday (October 105s),
and one today (October 106s). Until proven otherwise S&P 1040 is the floor for now. I'm enjoying being
complacent... it's sort of fun.
I see now we are back to the pattern we had in March & April where you can buy S&P futures overnight when
they are in the red and make a mint as the market surges to the green during the day. Almost like clockwork. I
used to do a game when I wrote down S&P futures at midnight then checked at 9 AM and it almost created a
gain (and a large one at that) March, and April - same thing past 2 sessions. I still wish someone who had
access to the futures data could tell how much of the rally from March 6th was during normal market hours
and how much has been during "overnight" when these futures are much more easily "moved to the correct
Short Capital One Financial in fund; no personal position
Long October SPY 105, 106 Calls in fund; long SPY 105 calls in personal account
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